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to the free syrian army. the syrian army defectors. i don't think we want to jump
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ahead of that. i think we need to see how things play out with the syrian national council's relationship building and syrian national council and in relation to the ongoing arab league issues. >> the free syrian army, anything more than a name? are they actually annette's? >> it is very difficult. very difficult for us to get a good handle on this, congressman. it does appear that several thousand syrian soldiers have in essence voted with their feet. they have decided that they no longer want to be put in a position of having to support criminal activity against their own citizens. it does not appear that the free
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syrian army is the kind of organization on which one would do the sort of formal quarter of battle analysis in terms of battalions, brigades and so forth. it does not appear to be organized at this point in a conventional military way. >> thank you. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. mr. higgins is recognized for five minutes. >> just to follow up. unlike libya, the syrian rebels don't appear to control any defined or strategic territory. nor have there been any major defections from the assad government. who are the leading forces in the rebel opposition? and who are they aligned with?
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where is this thing going? if you are not -- you are an insurgent effort and don't have momentum you are not winning. would you characterize the opposition here as having momentum and able to sustain momentum? >> congressman, that is an extraordinarily difficult question for me to give a definitive answer to from my perspective. if you had asked me a couple of months ago, would there be the level of defections we are seeing now? are frankly would not have known the answer to that question then. it is difficult for me to speculate what things are going to look like 60 or 90 days from now. the main thrust of the syrian
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opposition today remains that part of the opposition that is absolutely committed to peaceful transition in syria. we are talking about mainly the syrian national council and other organizations. these are organizations that are absolutely determined to do their best to avoid civil war. that is the main event right now. it is those organizations and it is their relationships with the ongoing arab league initiative. this is the main game in town right now. >> so this went from peaceful calls for reform to a growing armed insurgency into what could
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eventually evolve into a civil war. the allies of assad are russia and china and they blocked you and security council condemnation of damascus. however the united states aligned with the european union, in sanctions imposed on the syrian government seemed to be having some what of an impact in oil revenue, in terms of foreign investment that has been halted, deterioration of the tourism economy of syria. >> i think we are talking about sanctions, first of all truth in advertising. my colleagues in the department of treasury are the real experts on this. we have identified over time
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basically seven categories of sanctions. central bank of syria, commercial bank of syria, other financial institutions, government officials, and other individuals involved in repression, governmental entities and non-governmental entities. these are the general categories of things to target. in those seven categories, over time the united states is 7 for 7. the european union is 6 for 7 including perhaps the most significant of the sanctions which is the, off of imports of syrian oil. the arab league if it goes through with sanctions will at this stage be three for seven. turkey will be three for seven.
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i think in the future, much of our effort will be in working with turkey and with the arab league to see if additional work can be done in that area. but it is having an impact but i hasten to add the impact of sanctions is dwarfed by the impact of assad driving that economy straight off the cliff through his policies. >> the gentleman's time is expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr marino for five minute. >> appreciate you being here and i thank you immensely for your distinguished military service. correct me if i am wrong, are apologize for walking in a little late but did you say you were hoping that the arab league
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has influence on assad to the point that just about stepping down will change his attitude and his mind as to where things are going at this point? >> congressman, it is difficult for me to measure the precise amount of influence the arab league is going to have on assad's calculations. clearly the steps the arab league has taken to date has sent this regime into a state of shock because the message is rather clear. syria itself is a founding member of the arab league. syria has always been a central part of arab league deliberations. the message from the arab league
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is syria is important, assyrian people are important. >> let me -- >> this regime has divorced itself from the arab world. >> you are not suggesting that assad be granted immunity for all the murders and criminal acts he has committed? >> this is not my suggestion. it is not the suggestion of the united states government. >> how about the government of the arab league? >> the critical vote here will be cast by those who will replace this regime and manage syriac's transition to something better. they are the ones who are in charge. not us. >> i would hope that we would more than suggest that this man be punished for crimes he has committed in the name of
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humanity. i see the united nations human rights commission wants to refer this, syria, to the international criminal court. practicing criminal law as many years as i have i have found the national criminal court is probably the most -- not the most aggressive court and certainly cannot implement any type of punishment that would be satisfactory. where do you see the international court coming in on this and to what effect would they have? >> i don't know. i don't know whether the icc plays in this in the long run or not. the only thing i think i know is that these are basic calls that need to be made by the syrian opposition. i can rule out the possibility
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that the opposition itself could come to the conclusion that there is a price to pay. yes, a distasteful price. yes, a disgusting price even. but if it gets this click out of the country before it can take the country down, is it conceivably a price worth paying? it is not a price for us to exact. there are people who are going to be responsible for running that country when this nightmare is over. >> i find it quite ironic that of all countries, russia opposes syria from going before the international criminal court. with that set a yield back my time. thank you. >> anthony hill back. the gentleman from florida, mr.
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ackerman. >> thanks for calling this important and timely here in the. hearing. syria is at a critical crossroads and we have an opportunity to take the right steps that we may have faltered early on in the arabs spring in my opinion. i am distressed by what is happening to the religious minorities in egypt specifically, the coptic christians. i would like to know the discussions the state department may have had with the syrian national council and other groups. have any of those centers on developing a constitutional framework that protects all religious minorities and allows the free practice of religion? has that been the case? if not, why not? >> thank you for your question.
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the issue you have raised has been precisely the focus of every single interaction we have had with the syrian opposition. we focused on two points in particular. and again this is mainly with the syrian national council but it would apply across the board to other organizations. number one, it is absolutely essential that minorities, whether they be christians, kurds or whenever be adequately represented on the inside. in these organizations. and there is significant progress being made in that direction. number 2 --
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>> can you elaborate on the progress being made? >> there are people being incorporated into the organization particularly the syrian national council. the syrian national council is actively recruiting people and it is having some success. in some cases, i am sure you understand why this is the case, particularly for syrian national council members living inside syria. it is important that their identities be protected. >> so you are not going to see a great deal of publicity about this? but the second point we have been making is that the syrian opposition has to be absolutely relentless, absolutely
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consistent in its messaging. to all syrians but in particular to minorities because syrian minorities are indeed worried about the future, even as they acknowledge the rotten mess of this regime. the regime is so bad that syrian christians have often been at the head of immigration lines to head to places like the united states, canada, france, australia, places where there can be opportunity and political freedom. i think what the opposition is looking for is the situation where syrian christians and other minorities don't feel compelled to leave the country. >> thank you very much. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back.
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we will go through the second round here though it will be relatively brief because most members have gone on to other things. recognize myself for five minutes. one of the things we are struggling with here is ultimately whether or not physical force is going to be necessary to remove this tyrant from power or not. and certainly your indications, your hope is that ultimately won't be necessary. their won't have to be armed conflict to get rid of this guide and i ultimately think this is probably going to be necessary and there are certainly different examples. we have seen examples like ben ali and others that saw the writing on the wall and
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ultimately fled, often times in to someone's luxurious exile. then you have other examples, holding on to the bitter bloody end like saddam hussein and gaddafi to name but a few. is not clear what direction this is going to go. i see you nodding so you would agree with that. let me go in a different direction. first of all lebanon. syria has a long history of intervening in the sovereign affairs of lebanon. it problems become lebanon's. since the uprising in syria began, violence and unrest have spilled into lebanon to varying degrees. a number of accounts have surfaced in lebanon regarding the vote violation of lebanese sovereignty by the assad regime's army.
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the mistreatment of syrian refugees and the kidnapping of syrian dissidents allegedly with the complicity of the lebanese authorities. given the close ties between the two countries there is significant risk that continued unrest and sectarian conflict and syria could spill into lebanon. what implications is the unrest in syria having on neighboring lebanon and in the lebanese armed forces, is it capable of confronting the challenge posed by a prolonged syrian unrest? >> thank you, mr. chairman. that is an extraordinarily important and difficult question. the lebanese, of course, are beyond being worried about the
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potential implications of what is happening in syria. there has been refugee movement into northeastern lebanon. there could easily be more in the future. the capacity of the government of lebanon to handle this is limited. the capacity of lebanese security forces is certainly a challenge to. all i can say at this point is that this is up major central agenda item for our embassy in beirut and its contact with the appropriate people in the lebanese government and the lebanese military and the internal security forces but you are right. lebanese are deeply worried about this and they should be. thank you.
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>> let me conclude with russia. mr. marino raise russia but let me expound on that. the unrest in syria began, i think you would agree that russia has proven remarkably counterproductive. not only has moscow outrageously thwarted efforts at the united nations to wrap up pressure against the assad regime but has gone so far as to deliver the regime as i mentioned before anti cruise missiles. in the testimony before the senate foreign relations subcommittee on near eastern and south central asian affairs assistant secretary sellsman said this is a matter of security kelso should be dealing with and we hope that russia and china in looking at how the assad click has refused all attempts of mediation from others will now realize it is time for the security council to
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act. is there anything that you believe could persuade russia or simply a hopeless case? and if we are not able to get the russians and the chinese on board, doesn't this really rule out the you and as a realistic option? and if so, what are the administration's steps and response to that? >> mr. chairman, if indeed it is a hopeless case, one thing i know is that we cannot act as if it is a hopeless case. we have to redouble our efforts with moscow to persuade it that its backing of this regime is not only helping to facilitating
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humanitarian catastrophe but it is manifestly not in the interests of the russian federation because change is surely coming to syria. i think there is another important element of this, something that russian federation has to take into account and that is its relationship with the balance of the middle east particularly the balance of the arab world. what we have now unfolding is a very important and unprecedented arab league initiative to get syria to accept a series of very reasonable conditions, to turn the temperature down and create a possibility of a negotiated
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settlement. i think moscow is watching syria's performance very carefully in all of this. it is one thing for the united states to keep up the effort to persuade moscow. i think of this may have some leverage as well and that may be the soundest, most hopeful way forward. >> thank you. my time is expired. the gentleman from new york is recognized for five minutes. >> i guess it was three years ago assyrian nuclear program, in its very nascent form thanks to a gift from north korea was basically destroyed.
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evidence seems to indicate that the israelis might have had something to do with that, depriving that avenue of further terrorist risk and threat to the region and a world. that being the case it does not take away from the fact that syria is the possessor of large amounts of chemical and biological stuff and ballistic stuff that nobody has publicly addressed right now. are we talking to the opposition? perhaps that is why reading the nuance of your statement and responses you have carefully steered away from exacerbating possibility of civil war in syria. how does this tie in to our --
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are we discussing with any of the possible future leaders of syria what happens with that material and equipment and have we made progress or is this not the venues to discuss that and may be the chairman can arrange a different meeting with you in which we could discuss that? something you could tell us openly? >> thank you, congressman. i think a different than you would be appropriate. what i can say in terms of discussions with the opposition, this may well be a subject that could come up some time in the future. most of our discussions with the opposition to date have focused on challenges that are right in front of our faces right now in
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terms of getting this transition started. as to the substance of your question i would respectfully suggest a different venue. >> will the gentleman yield? the gentleman yield. we would be happy to work with the gentleman's staff to set up a hearing. the international community has been incredibly active on the syrian issue. specifically the arab league has done things that -- acted in ways that some of us might not have thought possible much to their credit. unlike their level of activity in some of the other countries that are experiencing shifts in
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power. the russians and chinese bad behavior seem to have created hopefully an understanding on the part of the syrian street that those countries and their blocking the united nations activity puts them squarely in opposition to the street in syria. one might assume that there is a fischer that has developed between the future leaders of syria and the current leaders of those two large powers. i would think that this presents an opportunity for us to take advantage of that and the question is are we so doing? >> thank you. i must say if i were given the
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choice right now, i would rather have the full cooperation of the russian federation in bringing pressure on this regime. i would rather see the russian federation redo the arithmetic on this and come to the conclusion that it is losing the syrian street and an adjustment -- >> i would agree in humanitarian terms because that would bring a much quicker hopefully resolution to the situation. but given the fact looking at the long-term prospects our real competition is going to be china especially. and i would think that rather than -- if i had my druthers but we don't. we would take a look at the real world opportunities and how to take advantage of the fact that
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this is a very important region, and islamic region with 22 muslim countries within the arab world and others watching very carefully to show that it is we who are more concerned with the people in syria who are supported by the arab league to prove our humanitarian concerns and interests and the well-being and future of the people in that region. >> i think, congressman, from the point of view of twenty-three million syrians there is no question at this point as to who stepped up to the plate and who hasn't. >> the gentleman's time has expired. final questionnaire is the gentleman from california, mr. rohrabacher. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for holding this
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hearing. i have often thought about writing a book about diplomacy. i think if i ever do, it is going to be entitled the art of juggling. because i know people like yourself have so many factors that you are juggling in the air that it is hard to come up with -- almost impossible to come up with a definitive position that takes into account all of those things you have to take into account. let me just suggest that you have a lot of other things you're juggling that i am not. so when i say that i am disappointed, let me just say that i respect and appreciate the job that you and other american diplomats are doing especially in situations like this but i am disappointed today
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in the apprehension that i am hearing about armed resistance to tyranny and i think one of the reasons -- one of america's greatest assets is that people who want freedom and liberty and justice in this world see americans as their ally. that is one of their greatest assets. it is disturbing to people who are under attack whose children -- soldiers who are about to change sides to beside if democracy and cast their faith with those struggling for a free society in syria and other places, to hear an american representative being so -- not
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opposed to but so conflicted about whether or not violence is justified and violence is a way of defending oneself as achieving freedom. we certainly would not have achieved freedom in the united states. i don't know many countries that would have achieved their freedom with this idea that people can go to the streets and face down tanks or whatever and maybe hold hands and sing of m ofkumba ofkumbaya. that is not what brings freedom in the world. when the guns start going up that they will stand firm for their beliefs. americans did that and others have done that. i would hope nobody gets the idea from what you are saying today that we americans are in some way hesitant to support those who are fighting for
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freedom in their own countries. >> thank you very much. as i have mentioned at the beginning, there will be no sermons from me or from anybody else in the administration about people not having a right to defend themselves. this regime has tried from the beginning to produce the results that it is facing today. the syrian national council, the arab league and others are trying to pull syria back from the brink of. because the consequences of this getting out of hand can be terrible for the country and for
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the region. it may be inescapable. you have cited some historical precedents. these presidents may be the guideposts for the future but i can't blame the syrian opposition for hoping that this cup passes, for hoping that there may be a way to stave off civil war, to si an end to this regime and to see a transition to something decent. but please, please, i am not a career professional diplomat. i admire people who are. people in the state department are working night and day and sacrificing a great deal. i am a former soldier.
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i appreciate the right and the necessity of self-defense. and please don't see in my words any compromise on that principle. >> just one last note. self-defense is one thing. conducting a fight for liberty and justice is another. we as americans do support the right of people to fight for their freedom and to win their freedom against tyranny. thank you very much. >> the gentleman's time is expired. it was brought to my attention mr. connolly is on his way and if he doesn't make it we are going to have to wrap up without him. all right. i want to thank the witness for his testimony. that was excellent. if there are no objections members will have five days to submit statements and questions
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for the record. if there is no further business before the committee we are adjourned. thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> up next on c-span2 a former nhl hockey player who was abused as a child tells a pal more education is needed to combat sexual abuse of children. congressional leaders reached a deal thursday to fund the government through next fall and are now considering a short-term payroll tax cut extension and jobless benefits. the senate gavels in at 10:00 eastern. legislative work begins at noon. >> or watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. weeknights what the public policy events and every weekend the latest nonfiction authors
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and books on wikipedia--on booktv. you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> now a senate panel examines u.s. child abuse reporting laws. former national hockey league player sheldon kennedy who was sexually abused by a junior coach in canada started when he was 12 years old. barbara mikulski chairs the children and family subcommittee hearing which is almost 2-1/2 hours. >> good morning, everybody. the subcommittee on children and families will now come to order. today we have very powerful and poignant hearing. we will be addressing one of the most difficult issues to raise in child welfare policy and that is how do we protect the
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children in our communities and in our country that they are a victims of child abuse particularly if they are victims of child abuse either within your own home or when the children have been placed in the care of a trusted adult. the focus on this hearing is -- the topic will be breaking the silence, how to protect children, when they are being abused, we can intervene and protect them and what policies we should put in place to achieve deterrence of this vile and repugnant act against children. it is sad that we have to have this hearing but the reality is in our society. late breaking news and -- this hearing will not be one of sensationalism.
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it will not be -- it will not be sensational. hour hearing is focused not on the sensational. .., again, rooted in prevention, intervention, and deterrence. this hearing is a result of a letter from senator bob casey who had a tragic, tragic incident in pennsylvania. this hearing will not focus on pennsylvania. it will focus on the broad issues because it goes on in every state, and regretably in every community. i also want to thank my ranking member, senator burr of north carolina, for his active participation in developing the framework and the witnesses for this. senator burs hat a long-standing and persistent reputation for standing up for vulnerable populations, and we have worked together on a variety of these issues, including the protection of children in day-care centers. we also want to note the
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long-standing advocacy of senator barbara boxer for her role and her open ideas. i want to give a brief opening statement here but i want to welcome all of you who are here in tll of you watching in your in the locker room and in dughe yeltsin and all over the countrd we have to dedicate ourselves to the right palsies, the greatldn. budget to really protect our tilted. while many being shocked by the recent terraces those child sexual abuse of fortunately i'mn not surprised.s many years ago i was a childkern neglect social worker in bostonp i saw the danger posed and them personal. calm was with them in the er,ror the court room, and when lanterh with them. the i try to put them with the road
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to recovery and no limitation. what i saw was the permanent len wdelible scars. for mitt experiences unit social worker so many years ago was aef searing, series experience. wkig island for red, grope well i was or is it.y lif ond as a senator in to need to but my life to being a will to w work in business. this is why i am so determined a that we take what we decide toe then turn it into an action pgrm plan. missin putting in four rounds at theit center for missing children, ora in withl the fbi, the market n, cerus and others. but it was rarely on prevention, protection come prevention, ands terrance.than child nothing more troubling than aal,
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child who has been physically,le sexually more emotionally itgain used and then abused again because of the failure or tests the they turn to will listened and reject them or who to listen but in order to protect the an brand of restitution with a reputation of the team, told o silerters. they have five currentce assignments of conspiracy. the child is doubly victimized. abuse them and then the k.sistant attorney the bac one hear about some of thisenney today.fess one from mr. sheldon kennedy, a former professionahol eye he pleasure his stake would diaz td its america refused to wire league hockey coach, and someo one whose parents have come toit trustro. mr. additionally, the abuses of butd
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to continue. tha we want to talk about that his men want to brag that comesing no silence for preventing normally, the first, but the second and use.tory where >> seventy's samples in our beenubject history where children have beed in use in some of subjected to the second piece. whe victimize the second time where llhave beeyen overly nor arewe covered up.on t well, the senator takes thetuti position that this institution should never be too big to deport or to premise thosehi until they're protecting theint brain there resent. our i hope we when noble we need tos do to help our children.he in sure we have a right with is with a program and thegram a representative prevention. pre there is currently a law on the
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books passed on a bipartisan basis per. the child abuse prevention treatment at to provide funds to states for roentgen an investigation and prosecution.xi we never to examine whether thae needs to be amended.w my own view and in recent yearsr like her should look at the fory be , it is my belief everyon adult has a responsibility. taka anxaco's series l to win it. takes a village to protect theao child, and i believe regardlessi re who you are, and he sees something, he knows something, m then reported. going to if he sees them into something. he will listen to that. it i turned to attali, senator m bearer end senator casey the whizzer question this a stauncho
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advocate of children. >> madam chairman, thank you for your willingness to hold this hearing today.ou more importantly a want to thank you for your precious forlear children. clear that comes across all theo in your opening statement of what your actions. nothing is more important thanrs the safety and well-being of ouc nation's children. a child should ever have to suffer the pain or shame ofbe i abuse at the hands of an adult, albeit that a parent, teacher, coach, or a stranger that in the park or the internet. our and also want to thank all of our witnesses for the time and o dedication to our shared goal of ensuring that children are freed from abuse and n neglect. in those rare instances when the show is abuse, i think this
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witness is put to a 72 century s we intervene quickly andand the brightest of the with the support and treatment that they need to hear under cover. of the waves the sitter and i sr have ordered closely ofikuli legislation their road recordcr wow bimackground checks forvids individuals working in a show on care that are volunteering witho all mobile popnsulations like kids, the disabled, and the lear elderly. fix -- they should not have top, worry that they might beild off dropping their child off to cars by someone who has been convicted of violent crimeri against children. the use of criminal backgroundt is to keep them away from fm centers, but oneafe.
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important piece for keeping children safe. will criminal background check will own only we of the offender's known in the criminal-justice system or other government agencies sei such as child protective we'e services.coity, we will hear a lot about adultsd who remained unknown to the judicial authorities. the sons of their victims and the silence of the adult by ens standard. childn are to trillions sure our childrenh are safe both children and sen adults must break the silence of abuse. abused l over, since children who are being abused live a life of youd and shame and of those least t able unlikely to come forward. it is adults with whom the grid is a false belief breaking the silence of abuse rests.
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crimes often tend to gain thet a greatest air time on cable news. it is important for us to rem roubaix that most instances oftc abuse against kids, sexual and physical, are occurring acrosslo the state lines on the internetn what in our neighborhoods and communities and by folks that we know. his the vast majority of abusesh occurring so close to home isin critical of the train and in power adults to know.w the size of abuse and to know sr what to do with the sea or suspected. there is no quick fix. atere is no single piece oflegil legislation that will make the problem. tywever, the adults are turningi to a collective sense of o responsibility for all the cmuni children of their communityssros
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stuff for f.or i look forward to working withnd the chairman and all of my senate colleagues to better unde understand and respondrs to the issues of gerald abuse in this nation today.ldren are we often hear that children ares our nation's future.ow how we as adults to read how wet of respond to that they'll treatment of our nation'sl children will determine whatnk y that future looks like. and thank my colleagues in the t chair.w >> i would like to turn out to senator bob casey who requested this this hearing. wa a the committee was alreadyt who contemplating it, but he hasucha been sets of advocate. to be and know he has legislation. we will be focusing on blog politics. let's hear from you.ch. >> thank you very much. i want to commend you for borea.
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together today, and i am grateful for that. of t and only on behalf of the people of the commonwealth oftr pennsylvania, but the whole country is grateful. want to say to senator nickels r -- mikulski. your work, if i can use an old phrase, laboring in the vineyard , it goes back long before the unit meridien as a states house or resources are of senate, helping children as an , advocate, so we're grateful to spend so many years. k tell the piece is the ultimate e the trail, the ultimate theimber trail of a child, and what every child should never have, and a c reasonable expectation of safet and security.in it's almost hard to begin to comprehend the horror a childhee must feel when they're the victim ofct abuse, wavy especiay
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when they're the victim of used by someone within know, just to and maybe even love. someon they cannote even begin. i could think about them for years and i cannot begin toears comprehend how horovitz's.how it is deals with the trail, and it happens because the adults til. first fact we are all adults, and we have to take some measurt responsibility. what has to come from hearing da like this, when we come to acons consensus about what to do, itse is as basic as we could imagine about protecting children no matter what the costs to all ofr the impediment, the of steel. . but walter lee is about holding adults accountable.
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that is why legislation i have introduced says the states, if you want to have the benefit of a federal program, in this case, you have to the pass a law. if you have is pretty but they will debate. but the senator makes a very important point when she says that this is what broader than one bill. much broader than one incident or one scandal or one news item, and we have seen several last couple of months.mo sitting back to that basicsic obligation. every public official has tof protect your kids and to do p everything we can to fightng wet against and pushed back and deai with that we all love our hearts also, chairman, we appreciatech
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icur work on this.ave de serv >> take you very much.o i want to say to my colleagues,o would like to turn out to to senator boxer. inkle due diligence in the areae of job protection.e in chil i would hope you would lead to an opening statement part ofpent that. nater senator boxer was removed, senator boxer, we are here to welcome you.you hav over you have really been remarkable. the due diligence that you have put in recommending severalin pieces of legislation, sell-offa with us, some with judiciary, us but it is a matter.the please proceed. >> thank you, colleagues. you're also eloquent. i think you partly for that would you are doing today. th ii want to thank publicly. o not enough committees aren't
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doing, in my opiniong in condolences' this should be dont should , and i am appreciative of am so ofu.apprective of course, senator casey, for requesting this hearing.esting g as peak is a mother andyou grandmother and senator from the largest in the union ifs be believing they're must be zero tolerance for crimes against kids. it sucks so we need a new ethic. in this country.eferred we get it from the heart, soul.n so we need a new ethic. much as we need to stress.hen l this ethic, this pair of empowerment, this kind of sensibility with the fact that many to protect our kids, manypc woules against children would be prevented, and those who commit such acts would be caught before their bonds are repeated andrims repeated and repeated and thendh innocent are damaged for life.r
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some party of you to facts,oingg because sometimes there are so k many numbers they're ready. i will give you two of the many that i have.wev they're 700,000 reported cases of child abuse every year. evere think about it. 700,000. some of our states have fewer s than 700,000 people living in the. 700,000 reported cases of child abuse every year, and 8,000 t reported cases, reported cases of child sexual abuse every yea and ethe other percentage that i want to give you is that to 71 percent of all sex crimes, sex crime victims are children. 71 percent are victims of i dodren. don't believe congress is done enough to prevenet theseprevt te atrocities, and i want to takety my own involvement. and i have worked so close with all of you on so many issues.
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senator isaacson and i work dod to prevent violence in the peace.a all of whom supported us in that endeavor. all of that involvement stemsvet from something.so he had a constituent and took ad that issue to hurt. in may of 1997 series iverson oa california, a seven year-old was molested and killed in a nevada casino back from.casi the assailants friend witnessed the molestation and learned ofna the murder.t. that moved me in 1998 to a juice legislation that would rips requirement. nothing happened. in the meantime, reported casese of c mhild abuse have occurred b educational institutions, day reous i care centers, and interestinglyd
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on federal land and property. pp the worst part of the failure to report these terrific arms and allow the serial killer to go ot and on and on to prey on more a and more senseless childrenanmoe so it is time to protect ourto children nationwide.nwide. in 1994 we came to give it tos perfect -- passed the but the it's children act i want that t. happen next the violence against women act, and it has beenomenac successful. it is time to pass the violence against children act which would be an all encompassing.this but today because i it have beed told by the chairman and ranking member, don't talk about it specifically to my won't do that i . a for so many bills, and i havei'v written some of them. i am for all of them, but i domf want to make one point, that i don't think anyone is aware, and
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this is critical.cr today on federal property of there's a crime in this building or any national park or in thern military we do not have we reporting requirements other than if it is a professional that sees a person after theat s fact.on after so in our own house, so theouseo speak, we have work to do.. we're going to want to tell the ates states.r with boeing to close not -- i a going to close now with a final thought. after 9/11 our nation reached ae consensus which was no one would sit passively on an airplane ast a terrorist threat to take overe i don't care if you're under 5 feet tall, as i am. we will get up out of birdseedae and do what it takes to all of, us. our nation needs to beds treach
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transcendent that we will never ever turned a blind eye to anevr crime against an innocent child. we have to defend our kids. otherwise we are failing them as human beings, and we are failing as legislators.reailing i think you and know you shareli this u.ank yo passion. i am so grateful to all of you. thank you. >> they key, senator boxer. senb we look forward to working withn you on your other legislation. we would like to know call out mr. sheldon kennedy, a former hockey player. the show collins, vice presidena of the center for exploited and missing children and franksing sorbonne from pennsylvania.ho h the support center for childppo advocates.t. while they are coming to the witness stand would like to a knowledge, as we get ready towi
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turn to mr. kennedy, someone else who was a victim of o terrible sexual abuse at theal hands of a nanny. ms. bruck of florida who is brought to our attention. and we want to welcome you.e we think you for your takinghana into personal tragedy in turnint it into an organization calledca lawrence kids. your father is with you and you go for it with your advice andlg >> wsel on moving this bill. >> we have an outpouring fromoug the people who wanted to testift , too use the hearing to come forward to bring to our national attention the depth an breadth of this problem.the defk we could not accommodate we everybody at this table, but we want to a compass the legislative table. get benefiting from your experience.om yodon't know what happened toha
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you, but you're working and prevention. ouldd like to turn out to -- on going to ask for mr. sheldonmr.d kennedy. mr. sheldon kennedy is -- was aa professional hockey player. he skated for the united statesr of america. during his career he was abused te and then the second time becaus people were more worried about protecting the coach and the the brand.brand mr. kennedy, we eagerly want tor hear that only your story, but all of your recommendations y about that. then we also want to turn too tt micheloe collins who representss group established by congress, the national center for missing and exploited children.fomiss she comes to us with tremendouss background and experience.perie. the cyber line.cyberat
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as a to my colleagues will weage already had a correctional recipient of sorts. exp she has also the child victim identification program. we need to know the depth of the policy level. and senator casey, did you want to introduce your representative from pennsylvania?on or >> i have known for a long time. fr the ticket director of the support center for child fr advocates always is a pro bono program that provides legal counsel to abused and neglected children. the abused d also chair of the pennsylvania children's trust fund which funds traded dbase programs to prevent child abuse and neglect. frank has a distinguished record toward the protective kits andn pennsylvania. few people i know, if any, havee
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the record and commitment that frank has, and i should also mention that he is a graduate of the university of pennsylvania talk gone on to the university's school of law and has a master's degree in theology.istr we're grateful you're here.u. >> praise the lord. mr. kennedy. u ome yo we welcome you and appreciate this.is. we actually did proceed withd your testimony and thoughts are recommendations are anything you would like to provide.te. >> good morning, senator.tor ranking member, members of the b subcommittee. thank you for inviting me as avs witness today.witness for many canadians, but hockeyn. is everything, our passion,on, r coulter, national pride.id. like most boys growing up ion dreamed of playing in the national hockey league.
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the unfortunately for me the dreamu came true.rue. i played for the detroit redro wings, b oston bruins and calgay . that is not my dream that i am m best known for but my nightmarei as a junior hockey player ii suffered years of abuse andassmt harassment at the hands of my coach.och despite the nature of the abuse and the hurt i experienced the fact that i knew was being done to me was wrong it took me over two years to come for to theo to authorities.rwa to why did not say anything.i didnt this is a question asked myself again and again and again. ai is the question i knowag everyone else was asking and the question that plagues the millions of sexual abuse victims around the world.sexally even though i wrote a whole book on this subject, the answer is a quite simple because i did not think anyone would believe me. be in my case my abuser was international hockey man of the year in canada which gave him
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almost god-like status. s soundt familiar? the man who preyed on me to good vantage of his position as aitis coach to look for children whoor were a special -- especiallyy vulnerable, single-parentle-parh households, families with problems, boys and needed aboysh father figure. these kids and their parents looked up to him as a hero. as a this was someone who could makeh their dreams comie true and heak used that trust hurt them. this imbalance of power ofauorir authorityea greece deeper ih problems.that this bcommi it is one this of community has eal with head-on if you truly want to prevent child abuse.r in every case, certainly my owno there are people who had a goal -- get a feeling something was someth wrong but did not doin anything about it. their attitude was, i don't want to get involved. it's not my problem. he could not possibly be doingg that. though, the authorities will take care of it, and that is
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it an what d pedophiles and creditors are countings one , public's ignoranceting or worse yet, there inig difference. there that is what keeps a childwha kp abusers in business, and that, senators, is what we have to o address. from my experience a child who's being abused has to tell on a average seven people beforefore their story is taken seriously. seven. that is completely unacceptable. when my store became public there were people who refuse to believe it.e it. they were angry i exposed a an ugly side of the blood sport. fortunately hockey canadad sri responded seriously and made abuse prevention education mandatory for the 70,000 ketches this is a positive message of want to leave you with this mesa morningnt.h this seven years ago i co-founded respect group incorporated in partnership with the canadianwie red cross, internationallyrec recognized experts.
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together we lost an online training program for sport prog leadersra called releaspect in sports port. which focuses on educating all adult youth leaders on abuse, bullying, and harassmenting anda prevention, including a sound a understanding of your legal and moralth responsibilities. our belief that we may nevereve fully eliminate child abuse, bub by and powering the 99% of well-intentioned adults workingh with youth we can greatly reduce you itif.readuc i am proud to say that we have already certified over 150,000we youth leaders to which represents a high percentage of le all canadian coaches. many sports and youth serving organizations have mended their respect program, and the listlin continues to grow. hockey canada cod gymnastics canada, the entire province ofe manitoba and some early doctors including u.s. rowing.
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in addition, organizations liken rockey canada have implemented the respected sports programs designed specifically for paent parents. we're also seeing proactiveinitt commitments to combat child maltreatment, not just tougher t legislation and minimum sentence but a federal approach headed uh by mr. ron have roast to ster r introduce prevention educationce that spends a multiplethat spa ministries that touch are mostns vulnerable t canadian youth. v we have learned that socialrne change takes time and can occur up of the grass-roots level and rom the government on down. i am pleased to say that exactly what is happening to canada and is whiat will happen here to. he over the years to my work i havh thatned that educating the good people, the 99 percent of ourthe population is the best defensese to prevent abuse. training must be mandatory toll achieve full compliance and reduce.the edation has the education is to be simple
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and consistent. all forms of abuse the the same em emotional scars.ive education is best delivered bet online to ensure consistency,co safety of the learner, convenience, and the greatestcee reach. finally, training must benally, ongoing. it is not a 1-time thing. too often society's response toe child abuse focus is on punishing the criminal.r if the teacher, priest, orpricec coaches sent to jail than weoaja feel we have done our job as a this is our politicians. punishing the bad guys makes us feel good, what it does note fully solve the problem.y so senators, you need to give alloe adults working with youth and ad all parents the tools to rent recognize and respond to abuse s when it first arises.it i am under no illusion that sucn an approach will eliminate chil abuse, but i do know that do kw mandatory education creates a niatform within all organizatioa that conversations happen. empower the by standard andemwed
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you'll be taking an important first step in breaking the silence. the key, and i am happy to take any questions. >> mr. kennedy.s >> mr. collins, get theins, et e perspective of the senator on ms missing and exploited ginger and. >> madam chairman, i welcome this opportunity to appear before you to talk about theyou of chimportant issue of child sexual abuse.ualus the first ten experience givesge you invaluable insight and we appreciate your lead on these issues.ese issu. with your permission i will abridge my testimony in the interest of time. as you know, the national center fo for missing and exploited ildren i children is a national organization authorized by congress and working with thenep department of justice.stice we a private public partnership demandtn for 26 years we haver served as a national resource center and clearinghouse on missing and exploited children.x one of our key programs is the o cyber to apply.tional caring the national to plan on thedreno n internet which is operated in
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partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement.cie we receive reports in eighteiv o categories of crimes againstf ct children including possession,st manufacturer child pornioography and extra familial child molestation. these reports are made by the public as well as my electronicb service providers who arers reqi required by law to report to law pornog enforcement by the summer to plan.eratck line reviewed by analysts and then re the appropriate law enforcement agency.agencyo read as we a all know recent events h have highlighted child sexual te abuse. we have come a long way since they to 74 when congress passede statutes. in sits amid significant progress.. all 50 states have launched mandatory reporting of child abuse. last year 560 accredited childct advocacy centers served more than 270,000 abused children.dee
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despite t this progress the problem persists.deparent of in 2009 state child protective 20tate agencies c reported 543,000 substantiated in since of neglect, 123,000 substantiated instances of physical abuse and 66,000 substantiating incidents of child sexual abuse. however, state child protective agencies are generally limited i tomi the abuse by caretakers.thd there are many more instances os child sexual abuse and assaultxl each year.ar. at doj study estimated 285,400 children are victims of sexual assault in tvhe year. y what are we learning? weon't h we don't hear about it.fr in fact doj found only one-thire of these instances are reported to law enforcement. hear we heard about abuse.ndaty
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under state laws and other and other adults to report allegations of abuse. these mandatory reporters are specified by profession and the states including health careatel professionals, on fourth and officers, educators, and child care providers. proiders. st addition 18 states requirein all adults to report abuse.ortue we also learn about tall sexuald abuse.rnet. la law-enforcement w investigationo of crimes against children thern on-line world often lead to the discovery of child victims in de the on-line world. individuals who possess andnogra distribute child pornography ma be abusing a child or betrayal images with someone else to his command because very few of fewd these victims tell anyone about their abuse, is only to the great work of law enforcement that these abuses are caught in the children can be helped.need who are abusing these children?h are vast majority of victims are victimized by somebody they know and should be able to trust.
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according to a survey, 81 percent of child sexualf assaults were committed by someh legitima with legitimate access to thtee child.child of the child pornographyogr victims' to have been identified by law-enforcement, 70 percent were abused by a parent or guardian, relatives, neighbors, family friend, babysitter, coach, or guardian. the good news is regardless of how the abuse is reported, manyh child victims are getting help. however, there is room forhoweve improvement in our reporting hes system. mandatory reporters should always be required to reportd to child sexual abuse directly to ab law enforcement.forcemenand altt although they may be required te enforce with thenizatio disorganization, child sexual an abuse is a crime and all statest and law enforcement must be involved. was the report is made from thea law wenforcement will involve te appropriate job protection apopriat authority.roection another recommendation is totios require training of mandatoryize and have you better identifyrese
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child sexual abuse.rningns. the most important change rican make is to record all adults toa seek out child victims of sexual abuse.sexubus teach people what the look for and build momentum for combatinn child sexual abuse.se. recognize many people are afraid of getting involved or making a mistake in allegation, but we're the only ones who can act on these suspicions and help stop the abuse. i am confident we can work wok together. thank youth. >> thank you, ms. collins. [inaudible] >> they do, chairwoman and thank ranking member, senator, andi other members of the committee for this opportunity to testifyy today. thank you, senator casey, in, se particular, for calling for thig hearing and your continued leadn in this area.a. we in new york great friend for gr children in health care andorc early education and child care.e
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we know we can turn to you.ou. thank you very much.ch the support center for childr fl advocates is a volunteer lawyer program for abused and neglected children. we are a big washout for kids represented by 852 in each year in court in various types of victimization cases.ctimation ims system today by the work ofe kathleen palm and our colleaguen in the protect our childrenpr sommittee, which is pennsylvania's statewide coalition of advocates,and physd physicians, and service providers. i would like to put some of the events of recent days and weeks weeks into context reflecting thethe t reality that many more children are physically and sexuallycally abused, but they garner little attention from policy makers oro the people who should be caring for them. them. sadly, it seems, this is notms,s just a penn state or syracuse sr story.but say, sadly, we needed the scandals, we needed these bad actors to actors sring this t discussion forwardi
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we welcome the speak up to wecom protect every abuse child act introduced by senator casey. this legislation helps shift child protection strategies fro one where the children areh chir required to protect themselves t from abuse and victimization. tsghligh highlights the transfers from adults the the responsibility to step up and calls for training and better knowledge and david better informed policies that represens a solid starting point to a critical discussion.mis weso know families keep secrets. last week in our office reopenet to cases representing child victims and the prosecution of prosecutio their alleged abusers is ones. very important aspect of oure work in the criminal courts. one was an 11 year old girl-oldg sexually abused by her father ah for years. her mother was not believingher her. she knew, but failed to believe
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her.o the other, a boy of ten sexuallb abused byo his mother's boyfriend. motthe mother is failing to bring the child to court for interviews and prosecution of in the abuser. he for these cases, like the morese notable ones we're hearing aboui we should ask : where were theth adults in their lives for all of the years that the youths wereya carrying their said secrets. ou? this is what is difficult that for many left wondering what was missing in their lives and wholesome adults whom they might have trusted, knowledgeable adults who might have noticed the warning signs. while it's hard to know the extent of the reporting we know that many cases come forward with the long history of secrecy and nondisclosure. the days were years that passed suggest someone new and should have known and there is another theme in that encase state law that shouldn't go unnoticed the children were protected because a couple of mom's listened to
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that and believe their children and now they are standing with them. it would be a gut wrenching court process there could be no better child protection tools than ensuring every child is connected to the adults who've pledged to nurture and listen to them and speak up for the child. witold victims and the abuse come forward? violations of trust are the hardest to endure. the abusers are trusted parents and and or an uncle or pastore parent or coach and the violation of the trust are tremendously confusing to read the defenses are compromised. in the beginning with a blooming behavior's and in the end by threats of embarrassment at harped. in our work we hear all the time that the child or adult sought reluctance to disclose and then suffered the pain of keeping the secret. why dot peole this i into being? well, this is a question we're alqul asking.ning allt again, the story, thet again te toderstanding belongs to us. why are we, biltmore reluctantct
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to report? undoubtedly, isolation, the opportunity to intervene. it is not my job.m someone else will respond. if is we think if i step and it willwh be worse to which i say, how cai it get worse. we fool ourselves if we think the stopping of crime is not the bests solution. kid they want the abuse to stop. the feelings of loyalty to theft institution get in the way, aversion to scandal, the survival and health of the institution is what becomes bco paramount. finally, people respond in strange ways to cultures of power in families, small towns,a big institutions.nsitutio pay avy price to pay for speaking out.pekin we must help the victims and we reporters who come forward. every state has a mandatory repo reporting statute.atte litera taught in my whole career. a very easy to teach, and yet
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people are confused about their duty toop report.duty a remarkably large number of a rema mandated reports.er of i think a lot of people in thisn room, people who come intoin contact with children in theirwi work have never beenth trained n what the law is in their state. the speak up legislation will spe require states to mandate the reporting is known or suspected. the standard articulates thetica duty that we should all know and know that the mechanics of thish mechanism have to be worked oute what we have, there are statesan that are doing it both ways. a word about capacity,w increasing the numbers of reports of suspected abusespect without increasing the resources of the system's capacity to respond maybe noble, butle b mab dangerous to kids are really wh needing the system's attention.n kids years removed in an abundance of caution. o that is what we all do.think. removal of foster care is notter
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beneficial. the child can be traumatized.a e the school can be interrupted. the investigation can get itnveo wrong. the findings about becoming afi child abuser have ofall sorts of applications for future employer and of that child parents. for these reasons we have to ge it right. indeed, we remember that ouremb jails are filled with adults whs learned the kids in the system.n we're not doing so well.come a d word about inerve intervention.not hot every family needs to hammet some of them the love. one of the hard parts of childs welfare part is to distinguishst the cases that need to hammerroh from thoseos that need a helpine hand. c we call this differential response. but different response to capacity, science, knowledgee ts about the differences, and this. is a hard game. har we need knowledge and research to make this happen. finally, senator cases legislation opens the door of
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nally, understanding.g serious discussion about who should be considered a consi perpetrator of child abuse. i hit have had dozens ofversatio conversations with knowledgeable professionals about which, if the penn state officials were mandated reporters. this ought to be clear to anyone that the prosecutorsproecutor it have had dozens of and even they are fighting. we are in a curious moment. the attention of the nation isre finally set upon child to protection, as it should be.s uh it seems attracted to be as we protected as a possibly can, ye. consequences. al a healthier community tomorrowi of the victims of yesterday and today get help.hel sadly some of today's victims will become abusers themselves.o not to mention drinkers, angryto family members to my spouse you cannot trust. eating away at their ability tor be healthy and safe.hy a
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we must get the message out tote vee victims who have not yetvia disclosed. y if you have been abused, tell ae geteone, could help. the healing will come. we can change the story of thesc lives. stori let's do it right. thanesk you. >> thank you very much. we're going to move on now to questions. i will take my time. end of i wanted to a knowledge the ackn presence of our to republican colleagues, senator isaacson and lamar alexander. i'll be happy to yield to you if you have to go. well, i really want to a i realc knowledge of the roles of center alexander and isaacson.senar ala and valuable member of this community and community, as a former governor in tennessee, president of the university. he has firsthand knowledge in
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terms of you run states and universities to prevent thisandu kind of stuff. so we want to thank him and t senator isaacson has a longstanding advocacy in this area.thi his work with senator boxer in their aggressive were crowingep your peace corps had been abused -- had been abused and countries and the failure to take actiono to protectt them. t them so you have a good panel here,'t and one of the best.be we turn to you for yourme tur t questions.en i >> thank you, chairman.chairman sheldon, very quickly, just going to repeat something that g heard you say, but i want to say make sure i heard you right.
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if greater loss had been in place that would not have necessarily solve your problem, where't it? probl >> not necessarily greater loss. i look at my situation and alli of the adults, the trust adults around that are in the systemtr and i looku at the victims. not only are they beingy are victimized by the perpetrator, but by the institution, thee adults that are around them, th teust adults because they, agais , are funded is not always le their fault if none of these adults are standing up for themt we need to give the confidence and courage to education toucatg recognize and respond to these issues. issu >> touched on education to some ed degree.. my question is pretty simple.pry we have an opportunity as we s begin to mold and shape
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legislation that we cast a wide net where we try to air cover, to potentially, everybody. we cast a narrower net and may be targeted individuals that thr have the contact withget kids e an intense education programn in public acknowledgement of what we're doing might have an impact . if you recommended to this committee, whether it be a widet net or narrower net, what woulda itr be? >> well, you don't have to even >> guess.ve to twenty-five states are doing th and net, and we should be finding ouwet from them how they're doing. are we ought to be comparing these t two types of approaches. we're all about this veryut confusing question. it seems attractive to cast a wide net. id we knowe that there is a higher degree of reliability fromabilih reports that come from professionals who are involved in the work also there is something, and a sense, there is
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attractive about both approaches we are all wondering which is a the right approach. righ clearly all of us wantt to have he ability to protect our kidst and be informed about how to respond. clear to me whether the approach is the professional that should report or every person shouldld have this legal duty with somee penalty. wth in the think it is a mistake tok jump in and try to answer thatwt without asking of the data which is the right approach and working today. >> let me just say to that, thal retard new rubber refocus the educational component.du i think all three of you said education is absolutely crucials i said in my opening statement, not sure a single piece of tere legislation that is the magic bullet and solves this problem,s but education over degenerations
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begin to affect change. o clearly we know statistically, s the individuals that abusedvidut children were, in fact, abused i as children themselves.msels, ad so it is a generational attempt. >> we don't know how if aveeder federally sponsored mandatorye orporting from work. spos in don't have mandatory traininn for those of us are in the sine business. so where we approach it from a o training perspective orspective education perspective, thatnal target approach seems to be very compelling. we need to inoculate the entirei community.co in the business we call this primary prevention. busp cards to inoculate the to entire community. there is clearly a front line ok folks. we want to be particularly well-trained and versed on theia subject.th su >> ms. collins, you bwere very emphatic in youryo recommendatis that child sexual reports always go first to law enforcement.
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have there been instances or issues where reports have been r made first to places like child ma protective services and then not being immediately referred to the appropriate places? >> across each state they havepe different report up to the di institution, cbs to law enforcement. enen the discussion is going, revolving, and sweeping, alls adults are mandated reporters at and when you're feeling reallyly approaching the fairness types of abuse, whether it be neglect, mild treatment to my child is a emotional orexul abus sexual, the sexual component iso a crime in every state that law ime in enforcement would be able totata respond and certainly involve the appropriate job protection agency, but we were trying toapr narrow iopt down into one specic type of abuse that would certainly go to law enforcement. goo law >> thank you.
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ou thank you very much. thank y i wanted to start. i wanted to ask you, and some of this is it your testimony already, but kind of a basicme t question about if you had -- if you have the opportunity to enact a federal law today that did three things, what are the most important three elements of that legislation in terms of can we can do to prevent this from happening again? >> as i mentioned, i believe>> a that mandatory training, a federally sponsored mandatory training for reporters of abuser those of uste who classically ae considered the mandatedconseredm reporters. we don't yet have that framework in many states.the feder quite alliterally tens of thousands of folks who come into thou contact with kids are not aware of their obligation, and we ought to make that clear.
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i am a personal fan. as you know, we have beenw working on the creation ofth children on bosnia andhat pennsylvania, the state mustte have a mechanism whereby a person who feels like the systeo is not responding, the victim themselves, the caregiver,resp professional might have an independent place to go so thato in a sense ofthat bureaucracy like the senator suggested earlier.there re ser currently services in the system that ought to be expanded. vi collecting money that provides s'ctim services and congress vim capsules dollars. .. those dollars, releases those dollars. they've released to the streets to provide services and so-called forensic interviewing services you will hear later about and the expertise needed
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to do the investigations. the services are almost nonexistent for the physical abuse cases in many communities. we would like to see that change. let's do it right as i said. >> and you made the point in your testimony -- i will try to get to it in a minute. you made a very strong point about the urgency of doing a study now. >> that is correct. all over the land i could tell you i had conversations with legislators and their staff and dozens of people in the general assembly in pennsylvania. legislators want to act. you want to respond. yet it would be in a sense unwise, imprudent to proceed without some information. this is an area in which we have knowledge about our not tapping it. we are not cracking the data. yesterday the national child abuse statistics came out suggesting child abuse is down.
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what do we know about that? what is it telling us about the ability to report. it would appear are reporting statutes are working. i believe our treatment is working. as i said, abusers abuse kids grow up to the abusers themselves. if they get help they turn that around. appears treatments is working. we ought not to turn away from that kind of approach but don't do it blindly. we consider this work but we ought to study it now. >> we will send a letter to the department of health and human services to conduct that kind of analysis of the 18 states that have mandatory reporting for all adults to further inform us about that. we can talk more with members of the committee about that. finally i want to ask if we have a brief second round to get two questions for other witnesses but i want to ask about this
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question of training. what is the best model for that in terms of not just the type of training but the frequency or the degree to witch even folks that have some expertise are trained but more so if they are not people that have personal experience or expertise. just outlined for us what would be the model training program but also the ridge under which operates. >> we should rely on the constructs we now have for licensure in certain cases. we don't have to create a regulatory structure for every person in the world. there are tens of thousands of professionals who are required to engage in training to keep their licence. if we recognize part of their profession is to engage kids
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then it seems to be a strong step to say that a requirement of your license is that you learn your responsibility to care for kids who come before you. we should build into licensure and certification program. second these training programs don't have to be extensive. i prefer this training for years, we gain a level of knowledge and retention with several hours of programming. mr. kennedy suggests we use online programming. obviously this is the way the world is going to make it more expansively available and it makes sense we is distance learning devices where we can. lastly pennsylvania coalition against rape, a great program that focuses on the experience side, put the story in the context of the experience of these professionals. you have a child in your
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classroom and acting in this particular way, what might you ask of that situation? you engage the professional in a kind of dialogue that teaches them to be analytical on their own. >> thanks very much. >> to senator franken who worked hard on this issue but i just want to acknowledge that you have been here all morning. the congress woman is a longstanding aggressive advocate for children. you know you have a parallel bill in that house. we wanted to note the fact that you have been here to listen to the testimony. i was going to acknowledge you but i know you have to get to a vote but we welcome your presence here today and working across the dome with you. thank you for your advocacy and attending today.
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senator franken? >> thank you. madam chair. mr. cervone, the title of this hearing is breaking the silence of child abuse the bigger the protection, intervention and deterrence and i know we are talking about a piece of legislation on prevention and intervention but you mentioned a couple times a number of the abusers were victims themselves. so i think that treatment -- you mentioned treatment yourself a number of times. there is one thing we need to add to this. what percentage of abusers were abused themselves? we have any idea of that?
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>> we can get that information for you. >> okay. but i think we really have to focus on treatment of these children who are abused. that is vitally important because whether they become abusers or not, this is something that will stick with them for the rest of their lives unless they get treated. and it can go other places as you mentioned. they become -- turn to drugs or our call or become unhappy people who are not good parents etc.. >> our business is using the phrase a whole child representation. however the child comes to you that you recognize this as a whole package of a human being and we have to think holistically about what he or she needs. so the child is going to testify
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-- in a way it just began because after she is done and if the abuse occurred and the abuser is convicted now she gets on with her life. part of getting on with her life is to get back healing. it is hard for her to heal before he essentially before the trial. >> absolutely. mr. kennedy, you talk about 150,000 youth leaders getting trained. there are a lot of people in this country who want to serve you and become mentors and volunteers. but when you have 150,000 of them you have seen in these high-profile cases that number of the people who are victimizing these children are people who have injected themselves into the roles of men
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doors. as a result in the past we have the protect act which was authorized in 2003, the pilot program for non-profit youth serving organizations to obtain fbi background checks of potential mentors, volunteers, employees. i support that program. we renewed it every year usually by unanimous consent. this year, the program was allowed to expire. do you agree that background checks are a good investment? >> shortly after that act was passed our office implemented background check protocol for our volunteer attorneys. all the big volunteer programs and mentoring programs like big brothers big sister is using it. it is a good investment. it is another of those
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thresholds we should take advantage of. we are collecting this information. we have it out there. we should connect the dots. >> this year unfortunately was the first year this hasn't been reauthorize. don't you think we should do everything we can to equipped use a reorganizations with this tool? >> absolutely. >> i would underscore that, this is something we need to get done. i know that senator schumer proposed a bill to make sure it becomes permanent. this is something that i am not sure has gotten as much attention as it should. because in the past if you use the service, you know that there is a 6% kick out of people who have the background checks who
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have something where you can say we can't have this person be a mentor or be a youth adviser unless we are able -- unless these organizations, these nonprofit organizations are able to use the service we may not be able to have the mentors or be able to do this and protect kids at the same time. >> i totally agree with the background checks. i think sometimes they give the organization a false sense of security. i think we rely too much on it. but i do believe we need to reach all the members whether there volunteer base or not and give them the tools because they may be the best big brother or big sister we have. we're in a position of power and we may have our kids coming to us and disclosing to us what might have happened to us because we are in that position. we need to educate ourselves so if we do have disclosure we know
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how to handle that. so i think they go hand in hand. not only the background checks but educating has to happen to every volunteer person that their unit. >> you agree these background checks are necessary. >> absolutely. >> thank you. >> before i go to senator bloom and fall -- blumenthal, that bill you just cited had a sense of this provision or is it just not reauthorize? >> the first year it wasn't reauthorize. usually is renewed every year usually by unanimous consent. >> let's take a look at it. if it is not sunseted its still exist. >> it is authorized every year and this is a real problem. i had people who run mentoring
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programs say that this has become a problem because they don't have funding to do the background checks and they have it every year. it is just $20. >> if it is a little group. >> it is absolutely essentials. as i say usually it is renewed every year by unanimous consent but this year wasn't. i am quite sure of that. >> let's take a look at it. [talking over each other] >> they la come to you -- >> thank you. >> senator blumenthal comes to us with an attorney general who said -- everybody comes to the table not only with their experience being a senator but with this background. your insight will be very welcome. >> i can thank you in effort having this hearing which is not
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only timely but to use senator casey's word urgent given the magnitude and severity of this problem in this country. i come with the perspective of a law enforcer for 20 years in the state of connecticut but familiar with the law enforcement systems and criminal laws of other states. i want to particularly thank senator casey because he is focused on an area that is critical for law enforcement which is reporting. you can't prosecute what you don't know. and often as we heard from this panel and we know from our own experience, enormous courage and fortitude is required for reporting and training and services but i want to focus on that law enforcement aspect because the reporting is certainly a lot less meaningful unless there is effective law
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enforcement at least a law enforcement response of some kind commensurate with the severity and really it morality of the crime. and it is a crime in most states. miss collins, you think law-enforcement victims of most states are adequately supported financially and otherwise to do the job that is required here? >> when we are looking at the numbers, the fact that not all of these types of crimes are being reported law enforcement is basically swimming in reports regarding child sexual exploitation many being internet related and many of them not. cooperation has been key in most states are having law enforcement officers working with child abuse and child sexual abuse, working in multi disciplinary teams. if they have a child advocacy
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center in their region to really draw upon law-enforcement, medical and child services to work together given the short resources that are out there to try to do everything they possibly can with the goal of helping the victims and bring forth a successful prosecution but with resources being what they are law enforcement needs everything they can get. >> you would agree i think that the child abuse prevention and treatment act should provide more support to state and local law-enforcement. >> and training to respond to these crimes. >> and i am struck by the fact that many of these instances of child abuse really occur across state lines and the difficulty of law enforcement is amplified by the fact for example that a father in virginia might be
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abusing a child from a mother living in connecticut and that occurrence is not expected of one. someone literally met with me this morning about such allegations. and maybe it is time we have stronger federal criminal laws like we adopted in the wake of the lindbergh kidnapping and killing that apply specifically to kidnapping, crimes across state lines. maybe it is time that law apply to child abuse as well. criminalizing it federally in some respects to provide greater support for law enforcement. would you agree? >> certainly. on a state and local level the internet crimes against children task forces are 51 primary forces of law enforcement that -- i guess not exclusively but
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primarily to internet facilitated crimes against children with the internet being just one subset of the tool that can be used in the exploitation of children but to your point, also can help facilitate individuals across state lines who have similar interests in sexually abusing a child and facilitating that. there has been great cooperation between federal law enforcement, the fbi, u.s. sections service to work with these passports and recognizing that depended on the type of crime and jurisdiction might be more appropriate on the federal level than the state level and certainly room for improvement. >> do you think that the internet and i think i know the answer to this question because every attorney general worked with on internet child abuse and cyberstalking and so forth presents a growing threat to children. >> it certainly does. the internet--the more children that are on line the more who
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have cameras in their self funds and more individuals going on line, broadband, giving great opportunity to many people within the united states have access. the more people on line and more technology tools that are developed certainly along with great opportunity. >> i really want to thank this panel for its testimony. i hope that we will have an opportunity to continue to work together in developing support not only for senator casey's proposal but times of better protection focusing on deterrence which is one of the subject here. i am also told that the protect act of 2003 was a pilot program and it was not brought up for a vote and this year which resulted in its exploration. i think it was not sunseted so much as just being a pilot
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program. senator franken's suggestion and your support is well taken. >> let's work together going across community lines and see if we can't get that done. >> we are both on judiciary. we can work on it. thank you. >> we want to thank the senator for what they do. that center was created because congress acted after adam walsh was kidnapped. his father the rest and relending advocate and wanted to take his own anguish and rage about what happened to his little boy and do something about it. we started advertising on milk cartons about missing children. it provides a lot of information. let me go to that information.
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the so-called danger from a stranger. of the number of children who were physically or sexually abused, what percentage of that comes from the stranger danger? >> excellent question. the number would be difficult to put your finger on because you don't know how many are not being reported. >> tell us what you know. >> i would have to look that up and get to you later. >> watching all the shows on cable face a 10% but let's get the validation. the other goes to this whole issue of the discussed in a poignant way why don't children come forward? there is sometimes -- tied to the abuser in some way. a stepfather. not just for reporting a crime
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like i have been mugged or my package was taken. they know it is going to cause a big stir and disruption. it is hard for a child but when a child is able to do that and perhaps mr. kennedy could comment on this as well. the data that i have heard is a child often attempt to tell somewhere between 7, and 10 adults before they are heard and taken seriously. you have data on that? miss collins? >> in terms of the children who are not disclosing, many of the reasons you're saying, not believing they're going to be believed and in other cases the fact that the abuse and the grooming has been so subtle that the child doesn't necessarily know at that point that this was
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wrong or that there is somebody going to listen. >> when they had an act perpetrated on them and desperation and fear. usually not just one incident. there also confused about what happened and hurt and ashamed but then after repeated behavior usually from the same predator. let's use the term predator here. stalking is predatory activity. then the child comes forward. and people react in a way that is not helpful to the child. do we have data on that? >> not regarding the number of children who come forward who are not believed. we know from the department of justice study that one third of individuals to indicate they research will be abuse reported it. >> mr. kennedy? you have thoughts on that?
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if we are going to go to mandatory reporting leaders believe see something, say something. if you knows something do something. i am trying to get an on the ground reality. >> we brought that stat in and can forward that to your colleagues. i think that the people, the kids are telling. lot of education in schools about bullying and abuse. kids understand these issues more than we do. we have never been given fool's to recognize this. when it comes down to it we are expected to do the right thing. how can we expect adults in positions of power to understand what sexual abuse is. if we went around this room or in the streets of washington or penn state and asked the adult leadership position can you give me the definition of abuse flat harassment, you will get the answer not very good but we expect them to report it.
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we say that -- we have to give people the tools so they can report it. these issues carry fear. if we can eliminate that fear we will get a lot more parents and coaches and leaders and teachers reporting and listening to our kids. our kids are telling. we are not acting. >> that takes me to my next question. for your recommendation. repeatedly in answer is you said we'd need the tools. i am for that. what would those tools be? consistently each one of you talked about training and education. mó dgexpeing to cf1 o training. tell us these tools does she feel so passionate would have a big impact. >> the first time we started trying to do this since we started education and catch the
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bad guy. get your back up against the law will find out who is a or perpetrator in here. so what we've are we going to youth serving organizations, all volunteers, every adult with her he schools, say the whole national youth football situation and so forth. it's not what you're different a college coach or little league coach, if you have power of the players. >> what are the tools? >> the tools are brought based education on all abuse, this is we started education education, believing they are an good person in a position of power and we need to give them i tools to recognize themve t andm on them. when we go into an organization it is mandatory. we need to create a standard first and fo within the organization that if create a s you're going to be part of the o be a organization you need to take you ne this program period and we database the whole thing sao we whole thing and off the know that individual taking the
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peer they reall program so it becomes a risy k d liability tool for the organization. what we're doing is we're ssoayo because we are out there eating, creating posters and policies r and procedures around these issues within these organizations and it stops there. we are promoting fun, safe, take care of johnny and julie but the reality is if you walked around those schools and we ask our teachers can you give me the definition of harassment and what you need to look out for to help these kids that these parents trust you with the odds of getting the answer are not very good. >> there are investigative tools and treatment tools. as a profession, as a discipline we have skills in each of these areas. this community of child surfing professionals knows how to do this. we know how to investigate cases.
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we're not providing sufficient resources to do it right. we know how to treat trauma but across the land we are only beginning to make inroads. getting treatment to be trauma base and at the front end with reporting, we talked a lot today. professionals to come in contact with kids need to know about it and what the pathway is. we have to make those pathways work. we need to give the system capacity to do it. our hot line to pennsylvania drops on average 9%. there was a colleague recently to set if you are one of a one in ten that makes the report and your call gets dropped out to you feel? you feel unprotected. we know how to do this. >> my own time is expired and we want to move to panel two. this has been a very excellent panel. i want to thank each and every one of you for your experience, your expertise and as you hear us

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Today in Washington
CSPAN December 16, 2011 6:00am-9:00am EST

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